This was the 3rd part of the adventure so far and we were back to the "A" team characters. For the start it's about 3 meetings of town adventures hopefully ending with an attempted arrest of Siggurd Eindaud, the original foil to the group that sold them to kobolds to be eaten back at adventure 1, meeting 1. We'll see how it goes.
Write up follows:
Time rewound as we took the game up with the “A” team as they left Base Camp for the trip back to Sorton after resolving the issue with the first K’Morat Warren. It was 3 days back without too many issues and the group arrived at Sorton later in the afternoon. The Teamster Trentis was able to cycle the group through Main Gain and Central Gate, leading the caravan off to CobbleHill and the Illytch Demesne.
We helped unload what we needed to, missives were handed off to the Consul’s adjuncts, and we were invited to head off to the barracks and freshen up. The party unloaded our packs and then crawled to the showers to wash the weeks of adventuring and days of traveling from our tired forms. Feeling a bit refreshed, we dressed in our nicer clothing and were relaxing when the 3rd Consul, Spearo Illytch, requested our presence to go over a number of things.
We followed the page across the compound and to the Consulates Offices. Many of the Merchant Houses have a Primacy who is the face and runs the house but also has 3 Consuls whose job it is to help guide the Merchant Houses through various deals and trades without it all falling to the whims of one person. The Primacy has the equivalent of one and a half votes and each Consul has a single vote. So the Primacy can be outvoted 2 Consuls to his vote, but the Primacy and one Consul will overrule the other 2 Consul members.
Spearo Illytch was an older dwarf, just past his 300th year and had the breadth and softness that older dwarves tend to get. His hair and bear were sprinkled with more salt than pepper but he had a friendly smile as he motioned for us to come in and take a seat. There were many notes in front of him and he informed us that there was a mix of positive and negative that he had to wade through earlier.
He addresses the group on their efforts to date, commends then on resolving one warren and goes over the note he has from the Bailiff and others from the Base Camp on their efforts to date. He started with Teamster Trentis and the original trip to the Base Camp; highlighting Dizzy’s lack of concern for helping the caravan, Einar’s Reorx’s Bane sickness and Bobkin’s lack of diligence or usefulness.
Then there was the adding of Barb from the Randari Rangers and the negative note in the file from Hornes for them doing so. The group was feeling ill as it was not looking well. But then Spearo launched into a series of positive parts of the party’s efforts as the group helped the Harvesters and Rangers bring in an 8 count of Firvin’s Cap, drove off a K’Morat raiding party, and realigned their efforts with Hornes as evidenced by multiple notes the Ranger submitted.
The party had been successful in their tracking of the quarry, and even the issue of “grey” necromancy regarding Frank the bobcat had been addressed by the Base Camp and the group. There was the trip to the tower house and simple boats evidencing the K’Morat crossing, the slime creature that devoured Frank, and assorted wandering trolls, owlbears, and skunks. He spoke of the Frost Giant (Girgym) feeding cows to the K’Morat, the Warren found underground and the many forays into the Warren and eventually the destruction of it.
We talked about the vampiric attack on Barb shortly after her diseasing at the K’Morat’s hand. There was the encounter with the giant, the party’s subsequent escape, the return to the Base Camp and the revelation of the unknown ally we have with the orcish druid, Dunatis and his circle. All in all, it sounded pretty full and heroic and he was unsure if it was possible on being topped with all the strange things the group had resolved and the denizens they met.
The party will spend the next 8 days training and then they will take the caravan back immediately to Base Camp. This makes them 14 days out of Base Camp in total but hopefully there will be little issue with the other half of the group and if they get lucky, they might even discover the whereabouts of the 2nd Warren in that time. Wouldn’t that be great? Something to help narrow down the search for the next warren?
The party went off to our assigned teachers and guilds the next day and the focus was on Avulstein and his efforts with the Vault of the Heorot. He made his prayers to the Watcher and lit a candle in Hel’s name, and then made his way to the basement and the large room where Magister and Speaker for the Dead Parylis Ebonhand was waiting for him. In addition to the leprous mage, was the dwarven Speaker and Death Priest Marsha and the Lich Paduntosis.
The conversation and lesson trailed off immediately as the three of them brow beat Avulstein that he seemed to be content in his form as a lesser being and animal since he had made zero attempts to change it. Does he like being a dog? A real mage would have already been looking for a way to divest his form and here he was, wallowing in it like some barnyard minion.
It was impressed upon him that if he was going to be a muskrat, he would be treated like a menial. If he wanted to be treated like a man, he would have to put the effort into it – brain over form. Parylis then kicked over a stack of 30 odd books next to his desk and told Avulstein he had to pick them up and put them back on the shelf in alphabetical order. And he would be timing him.
As the seconds wound up and the wolverine did his best, the zombies in the room stood in his way and tried to slow him down, Marsha and Paduntosis kept up a barrage of conflicting insults to confuse him, and Parylis was as rude and disparaging as possible – all in order to slow the poor Avulstein down. After 12 minutes had elapsed, he stood back and reported the task done.
Parylis informed him he had done it WRONG and gave him more explicit instructions on what to do before kicking the pile over AGAIN! This time with less time on the clock, Avulstein took to fixing the pile in alphabetical order but had better luck as he was able to manipulate the books faster. Before too long he stood back and again reported the job done. Parylis compared the order to the correct listing…and was pleased.
Since Avulstein could think like a man, he was welcome to be treated like one. He was allowed to pick ONE book from the pile he had corrected and that choice would let the three Speakers know if Avulstein was ready for the chance to become a man again – or if he was a lost cause and was to remain an animal for all time.
He went through each tome with care and read the short synopsis on each before settling on one, “The Clothes to be Changed”, a work regarding the exact rituals of swapping souls from one body to another. As soon as he chose that book the three Speakers had a 180 turnaround, satisfied with Avulstein. The ritual is beyond him, BUT, there is an opportunity that he can still make it happen if he performs the final steps of it during his mage’s test in a few weeks or months.
The mage in the mage’s test is actually part of a smaller pocket dimension that the proctor helps establish. This means that in the much smaller realm of the test, the effect of magic is amplified and if the ritual pieces are together and performed before the test is complete, it is possible that Avulstein could literally bounce from one body to another. Stranger things have happened, people die, get lost in the astral plane, lose body parts, gain body parts, hundreds of odd occurrences have happened and there is no reason to think this wouldn’t happen again. They spent the rest of the day going through the broad outlines of the tome and what was needed and the list looked like:
• A gold and silver gem housing, typically worn as a necklace.
• Silicant foci prismatic glass, typically found in a wizard’s tower.
• Blood, hair, skin, and essence from NEW host and ORIGINAL form.
• Four Wolf hairs twined like a ring and worn to ensure Loki’s, the Tricksters, blessing.
• Storm winds and to ensure Odin’s blessing.
• A poison that needs to be drunk at the end by both entities to ensure Hel’s blessing.
• Normally requires 2 weeks of spellcasting and about 20,000 nobles worth of supplies and accoutrements – but that can be ignored if done during the mage’s test.
• And 1/10th of the wizards permanent hit points.
He had until he was ready to take his mage’s test in a month or so to get the material together. The ritual work would occur before hand, and the final step – the drinking of the poisons, would have to occur DURING the mage’s test for his New host, and after the 5th resolution of the 6th trials during the test for Avulstein.
The New Host had to be willing and free of undue spells or mental controls or the transfer would not work. The New Host had to understand it was taking on the older form of the wolverine. That evening Avulstein had gone back to the Illytch compound and shared with the party what he had learned and what he needed to acquire.
They went down the list identifying some things they can address now and in town. The Silicant glass could be gotten from the orcish wizard’s tower found in Broken Tower Lake about 2 days outside of Sorton on the way to the Base Camp. It was reported that there was a door but the one attempt via boat to open it had no resolution as there was no key hole. A knock spell would solve that and Paduntosis was willing to do some horse trading with Avulstein to supply him with one knock scroll.
The Storm Winds they could eventually get as they still had the Nornian Skein and would be sure to capture some truly great winds from the Morata mountains when they return to Base Camp.
Poisons was something that Avulstein had been studying as of late and with his knowledge, gave a list of dangerous flowers and plants to Darius to bring to Meg the Florist and see if she was able to gather them together for the wizard.
As for a person, there was lots of back and forth as to where they would get someone and the party hesitantly settled on the Children of Frey. A follower of Frey, especially a non-touched follower, might be enthused to be assigned an ani-form and if approached properly, could be made amenable to the entire plan.
In addition, Negan and Connal had gone to the Sheriff's office and arranged to have the Half-Ogre deputized so he can arrest Siggurd at some point. The deputization was only good for 2 weeks but would give the Fighter/Priest legal authority to operate inside Sorton's walls to perform the arrest. Getting Siggurd out of Sorton and on the way back to Thak? That would be a different problem and the half-ogre and the group would have to jump that issue at that time.